Best 40-Under-40 Professor Deepak Malhotra

Deepak Malhotra of Harvard Business School

Deepak Malhotra of Harvard Business School

Deepak Malhora

Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration

Age: 38

Institution: Harvard Business School

Since: 2002

Before current institution:

Grad school: Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University)

Hometown: West Bloomfield, Michigan

Marital status: Married

Children: Three aged 6 (boy), 4 (girl) and 2 (girl)


–       Kellogg School of Management, PhD, Management & Organizations (area: Negotiation)

–       University of Michigan, BA, Economics (High Honors & Highest Distinction)

Courses currently teaching: I am a professor of Negotiation and, in any given year, I’m likely to be teaching Negotiation courses to executives and/or MBA students.

–       In exec ed, I teach in the Owner/President Management program and also in a dedicated one-week course on negotiation, which is offered three times a year (Changing the Game).

–       For MBAs, I teach the second-year elective course on negotiation.

Fun fact: I was the president of our theater club in high school, and played Danny Zuko (the John Travolta role) in Grease during my senior year.

Professor I most admire:  The three teachers that have had the greatest impact on me are my high school drama teacher (Robert Leider), my martial arts (kung fu) instructor (Sifu Brown), and my PhD adviser in graduate school (Prof. Keith Murnighan).

Most memorable moment as a professor: After the first time I taught second-year students at HBS, I was asked by the student body to deliver an end-of-year address to the graduating class.  I gave a lecture titled “Tragedy and Genius” and still get more email from people I’ve never met on the basis of that speech (thanks to YouTube) than anything else I’ve ever written or said.

“If I weren’t a B-school professor…” I would split my time between practicing martial arts and advising governments and militant groups on peace process design and negotiation strategy for ending armed conflicts.

Twitter: @Prof_Malhotra

Students say: 

A professor that’s two years younger than me? Yikes! I can’t believe I’m being honest enough to admit that. But what my genius of a professor lacks in grey hair, he makes up for with a rare and honest teaching style that educates, yet entertains. When an entire class was up late studying the night before for Professor Malhotra’s class, as I scanned his class the next morn, there was not a yawn in sight. Why? How could one be tired in the presence of such an engaging and prolific professor?

Oh, and thanks to “The D” (his nickname behind his back), I’m now a skilled negotiator. Deepak Malhotra has an unmatched ability to go beyond Jedi negotiation techniques and empower his students to negotiate with empathy and strategic depth. I relish negotiating my own deals now after being taught by such a master. 

– Tyra Banks, CEO, The Tyra Banks Company, Harvard Business School, Owner/President Management program, Class of 2012

Deepak’s engaging and humorous style makes every class an unforgettable experience.  A hunger exists in his classroom that is impossible to describe.  Each discussion brings nuggets of wisdom that students scramble to compile.  A fellow student once told me that Deepak’s Negotiations class was alone “worth the price of an MBA.”  While Deepak may laugh at that suggestion, it speaks to his impact beyond the classroom.  Deepak’s students regularly apply his lessons and theories to their lives beyond work, while his encouragement of students to follow their heart and not be influenced by typical MBA careers or peer pressure, is a lesson that takes many of us too long to learn.  Though Deepak teaches at a “business” school, that statement is too limited to accurately capture his significance.  “Life” professor is more precise.

My classes with Deepak are among my most valued memories of HBS, and I look forward to staying in touch with him.

– Jon Enberg, Harvard Business School, Class of 2012 

>Prof. Deepak Malhotra is a rock star. His Negotiation class at  Harvard Business School’s OPM Program was by far the highlight of the three-year program.  Before the start of his class, the room would be buzzing with energy. Fifty executives waiting to be engaged, ready to learn, and ready to hear from a master of negotiation. I never wanted  the class to end–he helped me relearn and rethink everything I thought I knew about negotiation.

His class alone was worth the time and money I invested in the program. Years later, I find myself thinking about what he taught me and how to prepare for a negotiation.  I have prepared myself for multi-million dollar deals by rereading my notes from his class.  He expands the chess board yet never compromises his values.  He is a master of his craft and a brilliant teacher.

>– Eduardo Arriola, Chairman & CEO Apollo Bank, Harvard Business School OPM, Class of 2006

His ability to spread awareness of the world around us extends beyond the borders of the classroom. As a 2011 HBS graduate, three years later, every interaction I have with Professor Malhotra leaves me pondering about what more I can do with the knowledge and opportunities I have been given in my life. I think it’s a rarity when someone is able to teach; however, it is only the truly unique individual who is able to inspire.

– Justine Lelchuk, Harvard Business School MBA, Class of 2011, Deloitte Consulting

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.